Strange Communion

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5 Responses to “Strange Communion”

  • Walter:

    Review by Walter for Strange Communion
    Rating:
    You wouldn’t really expect Thea Gilmore to produce a traditional Christmas album, and true to form she delivers something which captures the mood and spirit of the season while fitting comfortably within her literate musical style.

    Criminally underrated, Thea Gilmore has released a series of fabulous albums mostly of her own material. An intelligent songwriter with a sardonic slant on life, she writes in a traditional style with a keen ear for melodic hooks and is, frankly, just about the best damn songwriter this country can boast at the moment.

    Strange Communion may not quite be her strongest album, but it’s hard to fault. From the haunting ‘Sol Invictus’ to the magnificent ‘Cold Coming’ and the gently sad ‘Drunken Angel’ this is an album of varied and solid material. Not the most obvious release to have expected from Thea Gilmore, it leaves you wondering why she took so long to come up with the idea. Simply great.

    I have just had the good fortune to see Thea in concert at the end of her Wintertide tour in promotion of this album. She was truly outstanding, on fine and humourous form with the audience, and her warm, slightly sad and distant voice was an absolute revelation. ‘Cold Coming’ in particular was amazing. When the lights dimmed, Thea’s band left the stage and she sang ‘Sol Invictus’ unaccompanied. There was a palpable hush in the audience as deep as the snow at dead of winter that she was attempting to evoke. A standing ovation at the end of the show spoke volumes. Do yourself a favour and get hold of just about the best Christmas album you are ever likely to find. Take note Mr Zimmerman.

  • Eric Ambleside:

    Review by Eric Ambleside for Strange Communion
    Rating:
    Christmas albums are normally complete pants, as we all know. But trust Thea Gilmore to come up with a new take and make a roaring success of an unpromising premise.

    I could make a good case for this being better than her last “proper” studio album, “Liejacker”. Strange Communion is a wonderful mix of cynicism and joy, sharply written, beautifully played and just wonderfully judged all round. There are even a couple of chucks at Christmas singles: “That’ll be Christmas”, which is marvellous, and “St Stephen’s Day Murders”, a duet with Mark Radcliffe, which is a hoot.

    Inevitably though, it is Thea’s achingly lovely voice that carries the day. I could listen to “December in New York” on repeat for some while, and I will definitely be listening to this album before, during and long, long after Christmas.

    Another absolute stunner from one of our country’s very greatest performers. Can’t wait to see her sing some of this stuff live next week.

  • Boswell:

    Review by Boswell for Strange Communion
    Rating:
    Thea is now surely one of the best singer/songwriters this country has got. Following on from her superb live album comes this masterpiece. More of a winter theme than a true christmas one the whole album is beautifully produced. Thea is now at the top of her game, her voice sounds better than it has ever done. Nige and Thea have written all but two of the tracks. “Listen The Snow Is Falling” is a Yoko Ono song and “St Stephens Day Murders” is by Elvis Costello

    There’s a lot of fun on this album and just enough of Thea’s cynicism to keep everyones feet on the ground. Could she also have given us a new Christmas radio perennial in “That’ll Be Christmas”? Thanks for the great present Thea. Here’s to Faith Hope and Gluttony!

  • R. T. Myring:

    Review by R. T. Myring for Strange Communion
    Rating:
    Only Thea Gilmore could come along with a Christmassy cd that I would happily play on a beach in July.I’m a massive Thea fan but this album is brilliant.Her lyrics are second to none,sometimes cynical,sometimes sad,sometimes witty but always intelligent.Yes folks her songs mean something!I will play this remarkable girl aloud all over Christmas.Thanks Thea,another classic.

  • Sarah:

    Review by Sarah for Strange Communion
    Rating:
    I saw Thea Gilmore live in Worcester last week when she sang absolutely beautifully

    then bought Strange Communion which I have played almost constantly since.

    Highly recommended.

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